66 Mo. 165 (Mo. 1877), State v. Lee
|Citation:||66 Mo. 165|
|Opinion Judge:||HENRY, J.|
|Party Name:||THE STATE v. LEE, Appellant.|
|Attorney:||John O'Day for appellant. J. L. Smith, Attorney-General, for the State.|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Missouri|
Appeal from Webster Circuit Court. --HON. R. W. FYAN, Judge.
At the trial defendant offered to prove by a witness that one Hayhurst, who was on friendly terms with Humphreys, in the November before Humphreys' death, came to the witness and told him that Humphreys said to him, Hayhurst, that if Dick did not quit talking about him, he, Humphreys, would bring grief, sorrow and desolation on the " hill." Defendant offered to prove that the Dick referred to was defendant, and that the hill referred to was the home of the witness, with whom defendant was living, and also to prove that Hayhurst told witness to caution defendant, and to tell defendant to be on his guard and on the lookout, and that the witness informed defendant of what Hayhurst had said, and warned defendant to be on the lookout for Humphreys, and to be very careful of Humphreys.
Defendant also offered to prove by another witness, that in November, 1874, he heard Humphreys say he would yet fix defendant, and that Humphreys, about the same time, threatened to kill defendant, and offered to prove that Humphreys entertained ill feelings against defendant up to his, deceased's, death, and to prove other threats of like character made by Humphreys against defendant. But the court excluded the evidence.
The court erred in excluding the threats made by deceased to kill defendant, and communicated to defendant through witnesses, Drury Lee and Hayhurst. These threats were not so remote as to be inadmissible as evidence. They were made in October, and homicide was in January following. The evidence is uncontradicted, that the ill-feeling continued down to the time of the death of deceased. There was no reconciliation. It is no objection that it was hearsay that Hayhurst informed the defendant's father and he, defendant. It matters not whether the threats were made or not, (although it is not denied but what they were). One object in proving communicated threats is to show the state of mind of the accused, and the apprehensions under which he acted. Threats produce the same effect on the mind of the accused, whether true or not, provided he believe his informant.
For the refusal of the court to permit defendant to prove the threats made by deceased to kill defendant, this...
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